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Costco switching from Amex to Visa

As of next March, Costco will cease being an Amex partner, losing its TrueEarnings card.

This week, the two companies announced they were unable to reach a renewal agreement which would have extended their 16-year exclusive partnership.

Their current terms end on March 31, 2016 after which, Costco will no longer be an American Express partner.

American Express was the only credit card Costco accepted. The TrueEarnings card, which is an American Express product, doubled as a membership card. As part of the Costco member experience, customers have enjoyed fantastic discounts from using their TrueEarnings card.

As a Costco member, the TrueEarnings card was free, giving Costco clients cash back on a variety of products and services including 3 percent for gas purchases, 2 percent for restaurant and travel and one percent on everything else.

Although the card is very popular, Amex spokeswoman Elizabeth Crosta said that the company is letting its relationship with the retailer expire because “the terms that Costco wanted in the relationship would not make sense for us economically.”

CEO of Amex, Ken Chenault, said that the company will be looking to keep as many Costco card holders as possible, adding, “Over time, we will be offering them products to continue their relationships with American Express, and we expect to invest to develop and market value propositions that will appeal to those customers.”

Amex cards will no longer be accepted on April 1, 2016. Costco will switch to Visa with Citigroup as its exclusive provider. Customers will also be able to pay using Visa and MasterCard debit cards, as well as cash.

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